Archive for July, 2010

A Caravan Of 50 Gourmet Food Trucks Will Soon Be Rolling Into Town.

July 31st, 2010 No comments

Every woman, every man join the Caravan of Love, sorry we mean Caravan of 50 Gourmet Food Trucks and entertainment soon to be at the Honda Center.  We’ve linked to the retro song and video because we appreciate the song and found the video flashback entertaining, especially the singer’s oddly sexy outfit. 🙂 Back to the event, learn all about it here and at OC Foodie Fest 2010.

CPK In A California Kitchen: BBQ Chicken Chopped Salad.

July 30th, 2010 No comments

Everyone I know loves California Pizza Kitchen’s BBQ Chicken Chopped Salad, including myself, especially the Garden Herb Ranch Dressing.  I’ve had CPK’s Cookbooks for a few years now and have made several dishes from them (pre-blog), but hadn’t yet made one of their best Salads, mostly due to the number of ingredients — But since I happened to have Buttermilk on-hand (a rarity and ingredient in the Dressing), I took another look at the recipe and determined it was finally a good time to make it.  I’ve now had this Salad three days in a row.  The recipe makes a lot of Dressing and since all ingredients are finally in the house, I might as well keep enjoying them.  If I close my eyes when I eat it, I’d guess I’m at CPK.  It tastes just like it.  To simplify a little, I use chunks of a Rotisserie Chicken lightly tossed in BBQ Sauce, rather than make the Chicken in their recipe.  It doesn’t seem necessary to capture the full flavor of the Salad.

Another Party With New Ice Cream Flavors From Häagen-Dazs.

July 28th, 2010 No comments

Nibbles of Tidbits loves a good Ice Cream Party, especially if it includes Häagen-Dazs.  We’re amazed by the unique and tasty flavors they keep coming up with.  We gave big thumbs up to the Haägen-Dazs FIVE series at our last tasting party and loved the Passion Fruit and Brown Sugar, and today we happily tried a few of their latest and Limited Edition flavors.  As long as they keep coming up with them, we’ll keep tryin’ them.  So far the pleasure is ours.

For this sampling round we tried (pictured above l – r) Häagen-Dazs’ Peach Low Fat Frozen Yogurt, their new Five Ice Cream flavor Lemon, and several of their Limited Edition flavors including Peanut Butter Brittle, Bananas Foster, Dark Chocolate Mint and Almond Amaretto Crunch— A varied combination of what’s new with Häagen-Dazs.

Seven of us dug in, then weighed in (verbally, whew).  All were first impressed with the fun flavor selection and then wowed by the actual flavors.  In particular, the Lemon Five has an amazing natural taste — It’s my favorite with the Bananas Foster as a close runner-up.  The rest of the gang was knocked over by the Dark Chocolate Mint, three picked it as a favorite, one chose the Almond Amaretto Crunch, another picked the Lemon, and one vote was cast for the Bananas Foster — We appreciate Häagen-Dazs’ progressive creations and unfailing high quality.

The Mona Lisa In Chili Peppers, Artichoke Leaves And More.

July 27th, 2010 No comments

This painting (if you will) is being crafted from Artichoke Leaves, Peppers, Dried Chilis and other edibles at the OC Fair.  Each day it looks more and more like the real thing. 🙂 I traveled to the Louvre once and saw the actual Mona Lisa in person, if I can say that — We couldn’t get this close due to its encasement, the rope around it and the thickness of the crowd.  Learn more about the artist of this creation here.  This masterpiece won’t last as long.

Q:  Are those Man Hands on the Mona Lisa?

High Tea Time For Mini Sophisticates: Good Day To All.

July 26th, 2010 No comments

We didn’t get the details on this mini-table set for Tea (sorry), but it’s a winner in the Floral Arts Competition at the Orange County Fair.  We think it’s absolutely adorable.  Good day!

The Art Of The Tart & Pie Competition At The OC Fair.

July 24th, 2010 No comments

It’s not too late to sign-up for a few of the Orange County Fair Culinary Arts Competitions — The specifics and more Fair information can be found here.  Today the ‘Art of the Tart & Pie Competition‘ went down with Pies galore, and tomorrow the ‘Chili, Wings & Salsa Challenge‘ happens with an expected 50 entries. 

These live judged culinary competitions happen each weekend during the Fair and start at 1PM on the Promenade Stage — It’s fun to enter and watch.

And it’s tough to choose a winner, but the Judges take it seriously.  Today there were winners in (4) categories, One-Crust, Two-Crust, Sugar-Free and Savory (or something like that).  We captured one of the winners in the Sugar-Free category and luckily got to try her entry pictured below.  She picked its juicy Blackberries by hand, what a treat for us.

Note:  We appreciate the improvements made to the Culinary Arts Program this year.  From the displays, to the stage and general organization, all went up a notch, not that we had any complaints before — It all looks terrific.

Now Casting: Kitchen Nightmares With Chef Gordon Ramsay.

July 22nd, 2010 No comments

Personally I’d never want to be on a show that places Chef Gordon Ramsay in the position of judging me — We’d probably end up in a food fight (that would hopefully end in laughs).  Overall I’m not a fan of the a-hole approach, but if you’re looking to be embarrassed on television, possibly humiliated, yelled at, or have food dumped on your head, casting is now happening for Kitchen Nightmares.  Not sayin’ the above will surely come to pass, but apply at your own risk and good luck!  Kitchen Nightmares, Hell’s Kitchen, hint, hint — It’s not going to be fun for you, but hopefully it will ultimately do good things.  The PR is posted below: 

Famed chef and Michelin Star winner Gordon Ramsay steps out of his own five-star establishments and into some of the country’s most unsanitary and unsuccessful restaurants to help them turn their businesses around or close their doors forever.

Each week, Chef Ramsay will attempt to turn one ordinary and empty restaurant into the most popular, sought-after venue in town. He reveals the behind the scenes realities of running a restaurant and wastes no time getting down to business – implementing signature menu items, modernizing décor and making the restaurant run as smoothly as possible. With his reputation on the line, Ramsay accepts nothing less than the best when it comes to the food, staff and customer service. While still prone to the explosive outbursts and spectacular confrontations familiar to fans, Ramsay reveals a sensitive and nurturing side as he coaches, cheers and challenges the restaurant staff, all the way from appetizers through dessert.

Will the restaurants follow Ramsay’s rules, or will they continue to stumble toward closure?

KITCHEN NIGHTMARES is a co-production of ITV Studios (formally Granada America) and Optomen in association with A. Smith & Co. Arthur Smith, Kent Weed and Patricia Llewellyn serve as executive producers.


The Thought Of Deep Fried Butter Is Perplexing, But It’s Quite Lame.

July 20th, 2010 No comments

The Deep Fried Butter at the Orange County Fair is kinda like the giant horse you pay $5.75 to see, but viewing the horse is more satisfying.  It’s at the Heart Attack Cafe, the Butter, not the horse (yet) — Who knows, maybe next year.  We weren’t gonna bother with the Deep Fried Butter, but someone in the group had to have it.  They found another sucka, haha.

The deal is this… It’s basically a Churro that’s injected with Butter in the center, then plugged at both ends and frozen.  It’s then re-fried to order and one big yuck!  Why would anyone want a Butter-stuffed, frozen then refried Churro?  They serve them sweet with Cinnamon, Sugar and Whipped Cream, or savory with Garlic Salt, Parmesan and Marinara Sauce.  Either way it’s ridiculous, but surprisingly the Chips underneath were okay with the Marinara. 

Note:  The Marinara Sauce was so unexpectedly yummy that we asked the brand.  We learned it’s San Benito and will be looking for it in stores.  It appears something good came out of the Heart Attack Cafe afterall — Check out other crazy OC Fair food options here.

Paula Deen’s Pineapple Upside Down Biscuit Recipe Is A Winner.

July 19th, 2010 No comments

I originally set out to find a good Pineapple Upside Down Cupcake recipe, when I came across Paula Deen’s Pineapple Upside Down Biscuits — Since the preparation couldn’t be easier and they seemed fun to make, I opted to try the Biscuits (Package of 10) before making the Cupcakes.  I used fresh chopped Pineapple and halved, pitted Cherries instead of canned and jarred fruit.

The complete recipe is linked here, but you basically just — Add a combination of crushed Pineapple, softened Butter, Brown Sugar and halved Cherries to (10) greased Muffin/Cupcake cups, and then top each with a Biscuit and Pineapple Juice and bake at 400° for about 12 minutes, or until golden brown.

Pineapple, Butter & Brown Sugar in Muffin/Cupcake cups.

Cherry added to the center.

Pineapple Juice added over the top of each Biscuit before cooking.

Let cool for 2 minutes, then invert over a plate or tray.

These Pineapple Upside Down Biscuits are best served warm and go fast.  If any leftovers, reheat ’em in the microwave for about 30 seconds.  They’re a good fix for a quick and easy Pineapple Upside treat.

The OC Fair Opened Today And The Competition Results Are In.

July 16th, 2010 No comments

More funny at my expense — The Orange County Fair Competition Results are now in.  My entry is the only one above without a Ribbon.  Oh well, can’t win ’em all.  And today I shot more video than photos, but most times when I thought I pressed record, I stopped the video (and vice versa), thus lamely captured our walking and talking most of the day, instead of the interesting, yummy stuff, haha.  Duh!  In defense, it was difficult to see the ‘REC’ light in the bright sunshine and I unfortunately got it backwards along the way.  It won’t happen again.  Gotta laugh though, which is easy since we’ll be going back soon.

Happily others we know did well in the OC Fair Competitions.  Hover over the above photos to learn more about each — And get to the Fair to see the results of all competitions.  Congratulations to ALL winners!

It’s Not A Tool Like Some I Know: It Does Good Things In The Kitchen.

July 15th, 2010 No comments

I’ve had the pictured kitchen tool (Pastry/Pizza Roller) for several years now.  I don’t remember where I got it, but just found the same one online for less than $5 — Not too shabby, since it’s come in handy many times over the years.  Its size is great for kids and it’s useful when trying to roll or smooth out Dough in baking dishes or tight spots.  A typical Rolling Pin couldn’t do the same.  The above Crust turned out nicely, but unfortunately this tool couldn’t have saved the Filling.  The final results of this dish are pictured here. 🙂

Orange County Fair Entry Gone Wild: Submissions Due Today.

July 14th, 2010 No comments

The above dish truly represents ‘The Bad‘ and ‘The Funnyabout this blog.  The Tangerine Dream Bars (wannabe) was going to be an entry in the Culinary Arts Competition at the Orange County Fair, but it didn’t happen.  I was gonna cover the top with Powdered Sugar, but unfortunately there’s no masking the soupy, unset middle. 🙁 I’m not exactly sure what went wrong here, since it turned out good last time.  Wouldn’t you know it — Two hours before submission time I discovered it looked like this.  Oh well, good thing my other entry was delicious and successfully submitted.  The Orange County Fair starts this Friday, July 16th.  The results will be posted opening day.

Our only entry in the Culinary Arts Competition (1st Show) is the Chocolate Layered Surprise.  It’s formed with alternating layers of Milk Chocolate, Waffle Cone, Dried Cherries and Pecans, then cut in squares and drizzled with White Chocolate.  We’ll be submitting (2) additional entries in August for the 2nd Show.

The Cost Plus World Market Chip Invasion Taste-Off.

July 13th, 2010 No comments

So many Chips, so little time — Well, we actually have the time, but can only eat so many Chips.  We thought it would be fun to sample a cross-section of the vast Chip selection offered at Cost Plus World Market.  Although they have much more than you see here, we ultimately decided to try (7) Bags of Chips and (4) Salsas for our Chip Invasion Taste-Off.

Seven of us gathered for the festivities to determine our favorites — To learn more about the Chips, hover your cursor over the pictured plates below to match ’em up with the Chip Bags above.  It’s always good to see what’s in a bag before you buy it.

The variety we selected appears to be a good representation of Chip types and brands.  Some are produced especially for Cost Plus World Market, and others you’ve seen there and at other popular markets (i.e., Kettle Chips).

The same applies to our Salsa selection — The (2) on the left below are specially made for Cost Plus World Market and the other (2) can be purchased there and elsewhere.  And the Salsa verdict is… All were good and enjoyed for their comparative uniqueness.  In other words, the pictured Salsas would be a terrific combination for a party.  One was spicy (Chipotle), one was mild (Roasted Tomato), one was cheesy (Chili Con Queso) and one was chunky (Corn, Black Bean & Red Pepper).  All were picked as a favorite by one or another, with the most votes cast for the Frontera Chipotle and Cost Plus World Market Chili Con Queso.

With respect to the Chips, the verdict was all over the board.  The favorites were the Gaytan Baked Cheese Puff, Sweet & Spicy Tortilla Chips with Flaxseed and the Death Valley Chipotle Chips.  We really don’t think the Spinach & Artichoke Chips taste like Spinach and Artichoke, but they’re a good dipping Chip for any Salsa.  The favored combo seemed to be the Veggie Tortilla Chips (due to their neutral flavor) dipped in the Chipotle Salsa.  It’s all good.

Note: Nibbles of Tidbits loves Cost Plus World Market — Check back to learn about our future Candy Taste-Off, our picnic inspired by Cost Plus products and more.  We have a lot of great ideas, because they have so much cool stuff!

Play The Kiwi Game: Hopefully New Zealand Is Closer Than A Dream Away.

July 12th, 2010 3 comments

This Kiwi wannabe is burstin’ at the seams with excitement over ZESPRI’s Kiwi A-Go-Go Bloggers’ Contest.  The possibility of winning a Trip for 4 to New Zealand put me over the edge.  Inspired by the true stars of the contest (Kiwi and New Zealand) and by the love of board games and goofy interaction, I created a variation of an old classic game — The new sensation is called The Kiwi Game.  It’s a FREE Game that comes with every 2 Kiwis and is shown in our very first VIDEO (posted directly below).  It was fun making it!

This post serves as my entry into ZESPRI’s Kiwi A-Go-Go Bloggers’ Contest — In the consumer sweepstakes (selected by random drawing), readers may also enter The Great Kiwi Adventure for a chance to win a Trip for 4 to New Zealand.  We’re competing for a prize in connection with our creations and mentioning this cool contest to you.  Good luck ALL!

And did you know that… A two-piece serving of Kiwi (aka Kiwifruit) has twice the Vitamin C of an Orange, as much Potassium as a Banana, and as much fiber as a serving of bran flakes (less than 100 calories)?!  Zespri’s nutrition information says exactly that.  They also report that it’s a good source of Magnesium, it’s sodium free and a low-fat source of Vitamin E.  The Kiwifruit has it goin’ on — It’s truly a special fruit.  Learn more about ’em here.

In celebration of the Kiwi and to satisfy our longing to visit New Zealand, we created the pictured Kiwi Blackberry Shortcake with Whipped Cream and Toasted Coconut.  It’s a beautiful combination of flavors and colors reminiscent of a coral reef.  We’ve provided the recipe and step-by-step photo instructions (below) l – r working on downward.

Kiwi Blackberry Shortcake RECIPE

2 Cups Flour
1/2 Cup granulated Sugar (divided)
1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
8 Tablespoons softened Butter (1 stick)
3/4 Cup Milk
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
1 Cup shredded, toasted Coconut (toast in dry skillet until golden brown)

2 Cups peeled and quartered Kiwi (approx. 4)
1 1/2 Cups whole Blackberries

1 Cup Heavy Cream
3 Tablespoons Confectioners’ Sugar
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Preheat oven to 450° and grease an 8-inch square pan.  Sift together the Flour, a little more than 1/2 the Sugar, Baking Powder and Salt.  Stir in the softened Butter and Milk just until blended.  Batter will be a little lumpy.  Bake for 13 – 15 minutes.  While baking, whip the Heavy Cream until almost stiff, then add the Confectioners’ Sugar and Vanilla.  When stiff peaks are formed, place the Whipped Cream in the fridge until ready to use.  Peel and chop Kiwis into slices then quarters, combine with Blackberries and sprinkle all with remaining granulated Sugar, toss lightly so not to blend the vibrant colors and set aside.

Once Shortcake has cooled, cut a square or rectangle piece and cut in half lengthwise.  Place bottom half on plate and top with Whipped Cream and Kiwi Blackberry mixture, then top with the Shortcake cap, more Whipped Cream and toasted Coconut.  Garnish with a sprig of Mint (optional), Kiwi slice or Blackberry.

Prep Time: 20 Minutes — Makes: 9 – 12 Servings.

Note:  Since you don’t need to over mix the dough or the fruit combo, this recipe is easy and fast to make.  It’s impressive looking and tasting too.

Q:  Why New Zealand’s Bay of Plenty is appropriately named? 
A:  Because it’s currently at bay and I wanna go there plenty.

Skatin’ The LBC Beach Path For A Patio Lunch In Shoreline Village.

July 11th, 2010 No comments

Chips and Tableside Guacamole Fresco at Tequila Jack’s Beach House Cantina in Shoreline Village, Long Beach (the LBC) — After skating from the Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool (near Belmont Veteran’s Memorial Pier) on the beach path to Shoreline Village, we relaxed with drinks, appetizers and Tacos at TJ’s.

We’ve skated, biked and walked the beach path in Long Beach hundreds of times before — It’s a particularly good path for skaters, since it’s extra wide and smooth compared to other local beach paths.  It’s generally less crowded and offers great views too.

Wanting more, we limited ourselves to one Hand Shaken Cadillac Margarita each, since we were already contemplating a ride on the Passport as an easier trip back to our starting point (haha), but we skated back — And no SUI or SWI for us!  Pictured is the Grilled Vegetable Taco and not pictured is the rest of the day, since the camera battery died after a long night.  We need a back-up for all the action.

It was a good day for a patio lunch — Tequila Jack’s always seems willing to accommodate.

Triple Discovery: Good Music, Unique Chocolate and Ease Of Adding Video.

July 9th, 2010 No comments

If you don’t know, we love music as much as we love good food.  We like Chocolate, but aren’t freaks about it — And we’re always interested in unique things, but right now we’re most excited about the ease of adding video to Nibbles of Tidbits.  We haven’t yet tried Grace Under Fire (the Chocolate), so far really like Grace Potter & The Nocturnals (music played in above video), and we look forward to adding relevant videos in the future.  We just discovered all at the same time.  It’s good timing for a band to make a Rock & Roll Chocolate Bar with unique ingredients.

It Happened Once In A Blue Moon And We Hope It Happens Again.

July 8th, 2010 No comments

Playing “Quarters” probably isn’t the most mature way of handling the receipt of a (12) pack of Blue Moon Belgian White, Belgian-Style Wheat Ale, but it was 4th of July weekend and we were ready to have some fun.  And it appears that I was the only one who hadn’t tried it before.  When I told others (friends, co-workers and family) about the brew, all already knew about it.  They knew (and I now know) that it’s made with Orange Peel and Coriander, then garnished with an Orange Slice.  Where have I been, especially since I seek out everything Orange flavored?!

And no, we really didn’t play Quarters with this tall glass on a leather surface, as they’re not the most ideal conditions for the game, ha.  We just tested it out without success.  After that, we enjoyed the Blue Moon in a semi-mature fashion. 🙂

The consensus is… We hope to have this amazing brew more than once in a Blue Moon.  We’re not standing alone without a dream in our heart.  Okay, that’s enough of the song and word play — It’s time to go get more Beer.  This is a good one!

Eating Tips And Zegerid, Another OTC Option That Seems To Work Well.

July 7th, 2010 No comments

A Food Blogger who suffers from occasional heartburn is not a good thing.  Well, it happens and over the past (10) years or so I’ve tried many over the counter medicines to help remedy the situation.  It’s why I agreed to try Zegerid OTC, one of the newer related medications to the market.  I also found their offered tips (below) to be helpful and thus wanted to share them with you here.  Dr. Michael Rahmin, a Gastroenterologist at The Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, New Jersey recommends the following TIPS for a healthier, happier BBQ season:

· Don’t Overdo It.  Smaller, more frequent meals help optimize the digestive process.  Eating big portions can put more pressure on your stomach and lead to heartburn.  Remember that the next BBQ is probably around the corner so be reasonable about portion sizes.

· Watch Out for Triggers.  If you are prone to heartburn, be cautious when considering certain foods that are known to cause problems, including caffeinated drinks, alcohol, chocolate and spicy, fatty foods.  Barbecue alternatives to consider include lower-fat dogs instead of traditional beef hot dogs, or make your burgers withlean ground turkey.  With the right condiments it’s hard to tell the difference.  Since all stomachs are not created equal, also be aware of your own personal triggers and try to cut back or at least avoid them late in the evening.

· Let Gravity Help.  Although that hammock may be calling your name, keep away after a big meal.  To help your food digest properly, stay in an upright position rather than lying down after you eat.  The natural force of gravity helps with the digestive process.

· Keep your Medicine Cabinet Stocked.  If you are a frequent heartburn sufferer, try an over-the-counter (OTC) medication like Zegerid OTCTM, an OTC proton pump inhibitor (PPI).  PPIs work by deactivating acid-producing pumps in the stomach, offering 24-hour relief of frequent heartburn with one dose per day.  For more information and tips to avoid heartburn, visit

Review NOTE:  I tried this product for a month.  It appears to work well, but I’m unable to say if it’s better than all the other OTC heartburn medications out there.  We certainly appreciate the opportunity to try it and will be adding it to our repertoire of digestive remedies.  Although I only suffer from occasional heartburn, Zegerid OTC is indicated for frequent heartburn sufferers with issues 2 or more times a week.

Dress Up Like A Cow This Friday To Receive A Free Meal At Chick-fil-A.

July 6th, 2010 No comments

I’m not sure how to accomplish it or what will pass for looking like one, but if YOU dress up like a cow and go into a Chick-fil-A restaurant this Friday, July 9th, you’ll GET A FREE MEAL.  We’re still contemplating the idea.  Below is Chick-fil-A’s Press Release regarding this crazy annual event — They’re celebrating Cow Appreciation Day!

Chick-fil-A is issuing a cattle call! On Friday, July 9, Chick-fil-A® restaurants nationwide will celebrate the company’s annual Cow Appreciation Day event by offering a FREE meal to any customer who visits one of the chain’s mall or stand-alone restaurants fully dressed as a cow.

Customers dressed “head to hoof” in cow attire will be rewarded with a free Chick-fil-A Meal (breakfast, lunch or dinner), which includes an entrée of choice, a side item and a Dr Pepper® (or other beverage choice). For those “too chicken” to wear full cow costumes, Chick-fil-A will award a complimentary entrée to customers partially dressed in cow attire, such as a cow-spotted scarf, purse, hat or other accessory.

Chick-fil-A has launched a special website dedicated to the occasion, In addition to providing further details about the event, the site offers cow costume ideas and tips, as well as downloadable cow spots, masks and other bovine-themed accessories for customers to use to create their costumes. For the first time, the Chick-fil-A “Eat Mor Chikin®” Cows will embrace social media by tweeting, checking in on Foursquare and providing Facebook updates throughout the day from their profile pages.

Two online photo contests are also part of the festivities. A photo contest for adults is hosted on the Chick-fil-A Facebook page. A second photo contest for kids 10 and under called Show Us the Cow is available at Both contests will award free Chick-fil-A products for a year to the best cow-dressed customers, and children will also have the opportunity to win a $1,000 U.S. Series EE Savings Bond and a digital camera through the “Show Us the Cow” photo contest.

Now in its sixth year, Chick-fil-A’s Cow Appreciation Day continues to build momentum. Last year’s event – and the resulting turnout – confirmed that Chick-­fil-A has a strong following of customers willing to go to great lengths to show their appreciation for cows. More than 300,000 cow-clad customers stampeded Chick-fil-A restaurants across the country. Costumes ranged from simple cow-spotted t-shirts to full cow suits complete with furry ears, cow bells and homemade sandwich boards with personalized renditions of the “Eat Mor Chikin®” Cows’ quirky messages.

“Cow Appreciation Day continues to be one of our best indicators of the great passion our customers have for our brand,” said Steve Robinson, Chick-fil-A’s senior vice president of marketing. “It takes a loyal fan to dress like a cow for a free meal and, based on the stories we hear from our restaurant Operators around the country, we have quite a large – and growing – base of Chick-fil-A fans. Cow Appreciation Day is our way of thanking them for their loyalty, not to mention a day simply to have fun!

The additional excitement around Cow Appreciation Day each year offers further proof that the passion for Chick-fil-A’s beloved bovines is stronger than ever. For the past 15 years, the renegade “Eat Mor Chikin” Cows have entertained consumers with their desperate, self-preserving antics in an effort to convert beef eaters into chicken fans. The Chick-fil-A Cows and the “Eat Mor Chikin” campaign have enjoyed such widespread public success that the chain has evolved the campaign into a fully integrated marketing program. In addition to clever roadside billboards, the “Eat Mor Chikin” Cows are the focal point of Chick-fil-A’s in-store point-of-purchase materials, promotions, radio and TV advertising, and clothing and merchandise sales.

God Bless America. Fourth Of July Is Often A Memorable Day.

July 4th, 2010 No comments

God bless America on this beautiful day.  We’re thankful for our blessings and grateful for our dear United States Military Soldiers — Without YOU, we could lose the freedom to enjoy what’s pictured here.  Let’s all send a care package to a Soldier next week.  We provide a few links to help do it:  Troop Care Pack, Operation Gratitude, Operation Shoebox and Give 2 The Troops.  Happy 4th of July!

Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake And More To Come.

July 3rd, 2010 No comments

We now get back to reporting about the superb Cheesecake featured on Father’s Day.  We prepared it by following the Cheesecake (One easy method, endless flavor variations) recipe and instructions found on pages 63 – 69 in Fine Cooking Magazine’s (April/May 2010) issue.  Abigail Johnson Dodge puts forth the best Cheesecake preparation instructions we’ve seen.  Our second Cheesecake is pictured above — It’s a Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake and we’re happy to report that it also turned out fantastic.  White Chocolate was substituted in place of one of the four (8 oz.) packs of Cream Cheese used in the basic recipe.  For immediate access to the recipe and instructions online, click has a “Create Your Own” section that’s educational, easy to follow and impressive.  We’re excited to test out more Cheesecake flavor variations. 

* The hearts were made by running a toothpick through the center of Raspberry Purée drops.

Rao’s At Caesars Palace, The Best Joint Next To Harlem.

July 2nd, 2010 4 comments

We finally got into Rao’s!  Obviously not Rao’s original Harlem location, since the wait is two years to never to get in, and California is a bit too far for a New York dinner reservation.  However, during our recent trip to Las Vegas we had lunch at Rao’s Caesars Palace.  We already booked dinner reservations elsewhere, but knew we had to make time and room for Rao’s Meatballs too.

We have Rao’s Cookbook and consider their Meatballs to be one of our favorite recipes.  We’ve made them on a few occasions, thus had to try the actual Meatballs at the restaurant.  They were equally amazing as expected and we are so happy to have the recipe.

The pictured dining room is a replica of Rao’s original location with handfuls of tables.  Fortunately Rao’s Caesars Palace built two identical dining rooms to offer more people the Rao’s experience, since most of us will never know the magic of Rao’s Harlem.

Rao’s outdoor patio is just steps away from Caesars Palace’s happening swimming pools, where we polished off our stiff Cadillac Margaritas.  We also had the pleasure of meeting Bubbles (pictured below), a special Host at Rao’s.  We first saw him sitting at the end of the bar and knew he was a kool kat.  For some reason we b-lined to him wanting to know his story, and was somehow transported to New York during our interesting conversation.  We initially didn’t know he was/is with Rao’s and now we’re excited to send our signed, framed photo (as instructed) to be hung amongst all the remarkable, nostalgic photos decorating their walls.  We’re honored and delighted to be a part of it.  Thanks Rao’s and Bubbles. 🙂

* The unrelated frog painting was approved as an entry into the OC Fair’s Fine Arts Category and was painted by my talented Niece Bailee of Kids in the Kitchen.  The frog’s eyes match the colors in the Rao’s photograph and both were on the table — Plus it looks cool and we always want to promote the fabulous Fair, as seen by Chef Lexi’s entry here.

Pinkberry Delivers Its Latest Flavor Combo: Watermelon With Cucumbers.

July 1st, 2010 No comments

Thanks for coming to our office Pinkberry — We appreciate it!  Some of us were genuinely excited to try the new ‘Watermelon’ Frozen Yogurt topped with fresh Cucumbers, and others were pretty apprehensive about the combination.

Regardless of position, everyone gave it a try.  We each had Pinkberry’s Watermelon Frozen Yogurt drizzled with Watermelon Purée, then topped with fresh Watermelon and Cucumbers.

My favorite part was the Watermelon Purée — I wanted to drink it, as I relish fresh Watermelon Juice.  The other (7) enjoyed the Watermelon Yogurt, which is on the sweeter side, unlike their tart.  And no one objected to the Watermelon and Cucumbers on top.  We all thought it was refreshing.

Pinkberry delivered a nice break in our day.  And we really liked Jimmy too (pictured).  He was cool, fun and professional, just like our office — Watch out for the flying golf balls. 
NOTE:  Pinkberry offers a 1/2 Price Happy Hour daily from 5 -7 PM.  That’s the time to go!

* It was a coincidence that we had Crisp Cucumber and Melon Softsoap in our office kitchen.